Skip to main content

UAW Studebaker-Packard Department Records

 Collection
Identifier: LR000042
Important subjects covered in the collection are: Agreements Mergers Classifications Plant Shut-downs Lay-offs 1962 Strike

Among the important correspondents are: O. M. Hawkins William Ogden Ken Morris C. D. Scribner Dana Norton

Series Description: Series I, Office Files, 1953-1962: Correspondence, clippings, and other materials relating to the years the Studebaker - Packard Corporation was undergoing financial crisis. Particularly well documented is the "management agreement" between Studebaker - Packard and Curtiss Wright in 1956.

Series II, Agreements, Classifications and Rates, 1948-1958: Agreements and other materials from the various locals constituting the UAW Studebaker - Packard Department.

Dates

  • 1950 - 1962
  • Majority of material found within 1954 - 1962

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.

Extent

1.5 Linear Feet (3 MB)

Abstract

The United Auto Workers Studebaker-Packard Department was organized shortly after the merger of the two companies in 1954 when economic factors, including automation, were making it necessary for small plants and corporations to combine in order to successfully compete with the larger automobile manufacturers. The department was made up of locals from both companies in Detroit, Southbend, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Canada. The department's records document the years of financial crisis for the company, including a management agreement with Curtiss Wright in 1956, as well as operations of the six locals that comprised the department.

History

The UAW Studebaker - Packard Department was organized shortly after the merger of the two companies in 1954 when economic factors, including automation, were making it necessary for small plants and corporations to combine in order to successfully compete with the larger automobile manufacturers. Locals included in the UAW Studebaker - Packard Department were Packard Local 190, Detroit, Studebaker Local 5, South Bend, Studebaker Local 255, Los Angeles, Local 125, Minneapolis, Local 1555 in Chicago, and Local 525 in Canada.

In 1955, prior to the opening date of negotiations, several locals met to discuss the best course for bargaining with the corporation and were successful in attempting joint negotiations for pensions, SUB, Cost of Living Allowance, and wage increases for skilled trades. Other matters were negotiated separately by each local. In 1956, Studebaker - Packard Corporation, still in financial difficulties, entered an "advisory management agreement" with the Curtiss - Wright Corporation which resulted in halting production and the laying off of employees in the Detroit Packard plant. A few Packards were built at the South Bend plant, but that was discontinued in 1958.

The company, still experiencing losses in 1958, cancelled its "advisory management agreement" with Curtiss - Wright and initiated a program of diversification. The introduction of the Lark in 1959 was a great success, but the gains made were lost when the Big Three introduced compact cars in 1960. In early 1962 a six-week strike was precipitated when the company terminated the old agreement and sought to cut wages and benefits. The dispute was settled in a bargaining session requested by Secretary of Labor, Arthur Goldberg.

The headquarters of UAW Local 190 in Detroit closed in 1958 and was finally dissolved in June of 1965. The Studebaker plant in South Bend, UAW Local 5, was shut down in December of 1963. The local survived, however, by joining with other small locals and organizing other shops to re-emerge as an amalgamated union.

Arrangement

Arranged in 2 series – Series 1 (Box 1), and Series 2 (Boxes 1-3). Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Acquisition

The papers of the UAW Studebaker - Packard Department were deposited in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in October of 1962 by the UAW Solidarity House.

Related Materials

UAW collections

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in 1972.
Title
Guide to the UAW Studebaker-Packard Department Records
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Date
1972
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA